Monday, December 17, 2012
Success! Certified Bonnie Swesey at Nomad Ocean Adventure, Musandam, Dec 15-16, 2012
Nicki strains to identify a fascinating creature encountered in the deep
ACS had a last day of work on Thursday for the seasons holidays so teachers were feeling relaxed enough to drive across the UAE on Friday rather than heading up straight after work on Thursday. We had booked diving Friday and Saturday, so Thursday evening our group, Nicki, Bonnie, Bobbi, and I just relaxed at the dive center and prepared ourselves for the adventure ahead. Roger arrived from playing in a concert in Dubai after most of us had gone to bed.
Next morning, not too early, I took Bonnie in the pool to refresh her training which she'd already completed at Freestyle, Dibba two weeks before. We rehearsed the Dive #2 open water skills and then headed out to sea to do it!
It was a bit windy with overcast skies, unsettled weather, but seas not too bad despite a bit of spray riding out, so Theo motored us over to Ras Morovi where we dropped into the calm sheltered bay there. Bonnie and I started out as a buddy pair, she performed her skills without a hitch, and we caught up with the others around the beautiful living reef there. Bobbi and Nicki were diving deeper than we were because I was staying high on the reef to keep Bonnie near the surface and to show her and Roger a small cave with crayfish. The crayfish was home, but in the process another couple of divers Dan and Randa appeared with a camera, Nicki and Bobbi got distracted, and Roger continued over the saddle with Bonnie and I to the the cabbage coral patch where there are sometimes turtles. None home today, so we continued to the lovely alcove where we've had so many pleasant ray encounters. None there either so we continued a little ways until Bonnie reached 50 bar. We were doing a safety stop when another diver appeared with the thumbs up sign. Nicki's divemaster training had kicked in and they had been searching at the surface for their lost buddy, Roger. The situation was fraught with ambiguity but Nicki and Bobbi continued their dive as we ended ours. We did learn a couple of things. One is that engines revving at the surface are barely audible at depth, and indistinguishable from normal picking up diver noises.
Our dive at Ras Morovi was a lovely dive and the best of the weekend. On the down side, the water was foul in spots with flotsam, and strangely we found dead animals. At depth we had seen a sting ray with bite-sized chunks taken out of it, and on the surface a dead turtle was floating near where we eventually collected Bobbi and Nicki. Not sure what this means, if it was just that day or a harbinger of things to come.
Our other dives that weekend were not particularly memorable. Visibility was ok but cloudy on all of them, and we hardly saw any animals of note, apart from the normal fish life, blue trigger fish, trevally, rainbow wrasses, lion fish, batfish ... there were lots and lots of fish (I must be getting jaded :-), just nothing large or unusual, though I remember at the end of our last dive Sunday coming up in a school of a thousand silver fish swirling round and round us. My main focus, and Bonnie's, was getting her course done. Bonnie did very well, systematically overcoming all the challenges required in the PADI course, removing face mask being particularly daunting and troublesome for many. This is the activity most prone to panic on the part of the student, but Bonnie managed the stress well, and in the end, passed the course.
She and Roger are going to the Maldives soon, and I hope they continue their diving there and enjoy more and more pleasant experiences under water, since experience is ultimately the most persistent teacher.